COVID MARKS A FALL IN PORT- STATE- CONTROL INSPECTIONS IN ASIA- PACIFIC

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As reported by Tokyo MOU, there has been a drastic fall in port-state control(PSC) inspections in the ports of the Asia-Pacific region.

The Tokyo MOU is one of the most active regional port State control (PSC) organizations in the world. It comprises 21 member governments in the Asia-Pacific region.

Authorities representing the organization said that because of restrictions in place due to COVID, many inspectors from different countries are unable to access the vessels.

The Tokyo MOU, which was recently released for public view, said, “Strict restrictions on ship-shore interactions and large-scale lockdown were adopted in many places of the region, which resulted in a significant decrease in the number of inspections.”

The Tokyo MOU was established to provide an effective port State control regime in the Asia-Pacific region via increased cooperation of its members and harmonization of their activities, aimed at eliminating substandard shipping. It also promotes maritime safety and ensures the protection of the marine environment in the Asia Pacific.

With a steep fall in inspections for vessels arriving and departing out of these 21 member states, concerns are mounting in the maritime world regarding the safety and welfare of the ships as well as the crew members onboard.

Port-State-Control (PSC) inspections play a major role in ensuring that vessels comply with the Maritime Labour Convention concerning crew welfare, as well as ensuring that seafarers are being treated onboard as per ILO requirements. It also ensures that seafarers get their wages on time, saving them from many owners who mistreat their crew.

Another key factor that is getting neglected is the identification of vessels with safety issues. Inspections ensure that the vessels operating in the Asia-Pacific meet IMO’s emission requirements, as well as ensures other critical safety factors. With these inspections getting neglected, it’s well off to say that it might as well be a ticking bomb in the making.

Posted in General by Ankur Kundu on May 05, 2021 at 11:46.